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Behind Enemy Lines: Scouting the Houston Dynamo

What can FC Dallas do tonight to take down their main rivals?

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Orlando City SC Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

FC Dallas head to H-town to take on the Dynamo after a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Fire. The Houston Dynamo return home after a 1-0 loss in L.A.

Worst in the West, Good against Dallas

Even the worst seasons have their bright spots. Houston has been an absolute mess this season and currently sits bottom of the west. Despite their terrible season, the Dynamo have nabbed four points off Dallas this year and beat Dallas 5-0 in Houston early in the season. An Open Cup quarter final Texas Derby could see any winner. Dallas has the better team, but Houston have fared well against the Hoops this season.

Potential Lineup

Houston will be without Damarcus Beasley for this cup tie. Houston like to play a 4-1-4-1 formation.

GK: Tyler Deric; LB: Jalil Anibaba; CB: David Horst, Raul Rodriguez; RB: Sheanon Williams; CM: Collen Warner, Alex, Ricardo Clark; RW: Giles Barnes; LW: Oscar Boniek Garcia; FW: Will Bruin.

Key Matchup

Fabian Castillo vs Jalil Anibaba. FC Dallas has come alive in recent weeks and a lot of that is down to the brilliant form of Fabian Castillo. With 2 assists on Saturday night, Castillo looks like a force to be reckoned with. Anibaba has the unenviable task of defending Castillo. Anibaba will have to limit Castillo’s chances to play the ball in to the box if Houston are going to hold on to a clean sheet, and it seems likely the speedy Colombian will be double-marked much of the night.

Keys to Three Points

Ricardo Clark Can’t Shoot.

No, I don’t mean he is incapable of shooting, I mean if he shoots it will be deadly. Dallas fans will remember all too well his goal to salvage a draw for Houston in June. Dallas’ midfield needs to shut down Clark at the edge of the box or he will make Dallas pay.

Dig In.

Dallas is in the middle of a congested run of fixtures. It is key that the defense maintains its stamina. Being on the road it is also important that they remain disciplined and intelligent in defense. A solid back four will go a long way in this game.

Finding the Right Starting XI.

Both teams are playing 3 games this week and the temptation to rest players may make way for slightly different line-ups. Houston will probably play their starting XI with this being the last big competition for the Dynamo this season, but Dallas has an even bigger game Saturday against Colorado. Expect a marginally rotated XI from the Hoops.

Prediction

Houston and Dallas have a scrappy ugly match that culminates in at least one sending off and a late goal for the Hoops.

My Prediction: 1-0 FC Dallas.